Daily War Watch
Awe-Inspiring, Historic Damage to the Nation
November 20, 2001
Jeremiah Bourque, aka J B
This will be the final War Watch.
Simply put, I will not continue to write articles like this
now that "victory" has been achieved. I shall let the Christopher
Hitchens' of the world enjoy their Ode to the Bomb and quietly
retire from commentary on military affairs. If this war should
last another decade or three, I don't plan on writing another
War Watch per se, in protest at the victory that has been
I simply wanted to state, for the record, that Bush has done,
in a period of one year, colossal damage to the United States,
and has sown the seeds for much greater damage in years to
come. However, at a later date, there will be salvageable
components. Currently, I am simply staring in complete awe
and wonderment at the lunacy that this man has wrought upon
What this man has done defies any kind of neat list. However,
in no particular order:
- Bush has managed to completely undermine the principle
of justice for all. He has authorized secret military tribunals
with the power of execution and not subject to appeal in a
time when war has not been declared by Congress, in a state
of emergency that is so great, that a Congress that has not
been decimated by a 747 crashing into it cannot be called
to vote on the matter.
Not satisfied with the Patriot Act, passed in a manner that
is most shameful, he has arbitrarily taken for himself, through
his own orders and through the Attorney General, steps to
nullify key pieces of the Constitution, applying not only
to foreigners under the care of the United States, but also
any of its own citizens who are defined as terrorists by the
capricious and unappealable whim of the Attorney General,
operating at the discretion of the President.
- Bush has sold Pakistan down the river, apparently agreeing
on the phone to allow the Russian-backed Northern Alliance,
with the suspected cooperation of special forces and the confirmed
political and material backing of Russia, to take Kabul in
the interests of the war on terrorism.
This is a great boost for Russia, an unqualified disaster
for Pakistan, and a complete betrayal of assurances made by
the President, by his Cabinet, by his staff, by his diplomats,
and by his spies, to Pakistan. It was also apparently taken
without consultation with the President's key defense and
security advisors, leading to the "victory" we have today.
- Bush is allowing the Northern Alliance to take steps that
will likely end in the wholesale massacre of the Moslem Foreign
Legion in Afghanistan, a name I have picked to be representative
of their nature, nationality, and the hatred Afghans seem
to have of them.
While Bush will shed no tears for their loss, the Moslems
in the many, many nations that have sent their sons to die
at the hands of the United States and the Afghan racial minorities
that comprise the Northern Alliance, will shed them instead.
The ill will created by this will last for generations. This
sacrifice will be their shining moment, a defining act of
martyrdom for the ordinary Moslem (or Arab) who does not need
the name of Bin Laden to be proclaimed great by his death.
- Bush has created an atmosphere of Might Makes Right, to
the point that the bombing of the Al-Jazzera office in Kabul
is seen as a deliberate act, further poisoning the worldwide
legitimacy of journalism.
Not in jest did I say that the offices of CNN have become
a military target, especially now that they have employed
a first cousin to the President; it is precedent set by American
forces in Serbia. Incidentally, embassies are also legitimate
targets as well now, as long as the embassy is not Russian.
- Bush has managed to permanize the already dominant theory
that air power alone wins all wars, leading to the creative
myth - it has not yet been a week since Kabul has fallen -
that ground forces were not used in Yugoslavia to force the
surrender of Kosovo. That surrender took place only because
NATO ground forces were going in, like it or not; had the
Serbs fought to the last man, there would have been many casualties.
In Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance, on the ground, gaining
momentum, courting, bribing, and otherwise seducing Taliban
commanders to its side, was a vital component of the combined
effort. These things have been quickly forgotten. The Perfect
War has now been wholly enshrined in American military mythology.
We will pay a damned heavy price for this.
- Bush has re-established the notorious principle of mass
detention for the prevention of terrorist attacks. We can
expect further increases in the number of Arab males detained
without charge and without evidence for indefinite periods
of time, on the suspicion that because they are Arab and male,
and presumably, the Arab Moslem community contrasted with
the substantial Arab Christian population, without any obvious
reason for it but fear.
- Without prejudice to either side in the election controversy:
Bush has forced acceptance in the wider population and in
the punditocracy that if you make nice speeches and talk tough
in the face of danger, that it matters not one bit if you
have been legitimately elected, or not.
- Bush is leading a force of hawks in his Cabinet who have
every desire to not only raze Iraq, but to plunge into the
Moslem-Christian holy war going on at a low level in Indonesia,
for the purpose of rooting out Al Qaida from the largest Moslem
population on the face of the Earth. Indonesia is currently
highly unstable, in the process of fracturing in thousands
of directions in the face of a timid, though well-bred, daughter
of a former head of state of that nation, who is completely
incapable of retaining control of events if they begin to
spin out of control.
Clamping down on the Moslem population is a good way of igniting
the situation and breaking up Indonesia, threatening sea lanes
far and wide through piracy, destabilization of nearby nations,
the high likelihood of acts of mass slaughter towards Chinese
merchants and businessmen, and increasingly likely, Americans.
- Bush has ended all American moral authority to dispute
the streamlined trial and excecution of Americans, or other
foreign citizens, in foreign nations, when charges of terrorism
are involved. This will serve to quickly prove that terrorism
is whatever the government in charge says it is, including
Case in point: Britain has made failure to remove a disguise
(such as a bandana) by a protestor a criminal offense in an
effort to clamp down on animal rights and globalization protestors.
The measure was included in an anti-terror bill.
- Bush has completely failed to recognize that Saudi Arabia,
not Afghanistan, is the real battlefield. Al Qaida will never
be defeated by wiping out the Arabs in Afghanistan (that is,
by hunting down and killing every single one, which is precisely
what the Northern Alliance is planning to do, and has been
encouraged to do, since US Special Forces are assisting in
the process of wiping out Al Qaida forces).
- Bush has made diplomats worldwide happy by bringing cavalry
into the 21st century, another military myth which may prove
particularly costly when some fool tries to do it a second
- Bush has fostered a blind patriotism for the United States
that leads to fascist impulses, a fierce drive to censor the
media from within and from without, a complete repudiation
of the principle of fair and balanced news from one of America's
major networks, the impression that the hiring of a family
member at a major cable news network will bring more favorable
treatment from Washington, a clamor for the erosion of rights
and freedoms, and a yearning for masculinity which encourages
thoughtless, historically ignorant, penis-size-based military,
political, and diplomatic policies.
- The encouragement of cowboy policy that has no idea what
happened before last year, anywhere, ever. Bush did not know
Musharraf's name when asked during the election campaign,
an oversight which showed his complete ignorance of the coming
storm. In a further expansion of this, Bush told security
agencies to lay off the Saudis and quit going after the Bin
Ladens, and also, hoped that the Taliban would be the bringer
of long-term stability to Afghanistan. However, it is the
deep ties with the Saudis that is the most damaging over the
long term, continued by the sending of a completely Arabic-ignorant
ambassador to Saudi Arabia who was not even at his post by
- The replacement of Russia as the dominant political force
in Afghanistan, backing many of the same people, operating
in the same ruthless manner, leading to the same mass defections
that will be reversed later, and saying the same stupid things
about a broad-based government representatives of all peoples
which the Soviets themselves proclaimed when they were in
this position, not so long ago. Taking over for the French
in Indochina apparently wasn't good enough for us. Now we
have to replace the Evil Empire, too. Feel honored.
A complete and utter failure to reorganize the military,
throwing billions upon billions of dollars on weapon systems
that will see little practical application. This may not matter
against Afghanistan, but if that's the standard by which we
should measure our military might...
- Spectacular botching of the sensitive situations in Germany
and Japan, brow-beating both nations through diplomatic channels,
Japan in particular, to put up or shut up and to "Show the
flag" in the conflict, acts which will cause major domestic
dissention, reduce the level of democratic legitimacy of the
governments of those nations, and please virtually no one
besides a few diplomats. Do you remember that Japan has sent
ships to support Infinite Justice? (Or whatever it's called
now.) Well, neither does anyone else. The damage, however,
- Complete, wholesale budgetary madness. I need say no more.
The effects will speak for themselves.
- Establishing a historic level of trust in Vladimir Putin,
to the point that Bush is being regularly manipulated by a
former KGB spy handler who has convinced Bush of his own trustworthiness,
faith in God (which plays spectacularly well with Bush), and
reasonableness (which Russian leaders are not expected to
display due to the anti-American sentiment among spies and
generals in Russia, both of whom, of course, answer solely
to Putin and cannot exactly survive in their positions if
This situation will create a vast number of problems as Putin
continues to extract American concessions for his own war
against terrorism (as he defines it) for amazingly tiny costs
on his part. Strategic and diplomatic vision, a skilled tongue,
and a willingness to be driven around in a pickup truck, have
won Putin more than the Cold War ever could. We have not seen
the end of this by any means.
- A complete and historic repudiation of the sanctity of
neutrality, a principle that the United States will find to
be a very jealous one, one that has infinite ways of resisting
anything but full and complete conquest.
- A drive towards secrecy that seeks to forever bury all
incriminating documents about how this incompetence came to
be, how it reveled in itself, and how it resisted all attempts
to tame it.
- One word: Crusade.
This is my evidence; I will see if it stands the test of
time. After all, it wasn't long ago that there was still an
argument over whether the Gulf of Tonkin incident was real
or fake. The way Bush is going, we will never find out anything
like that ever again.
I would like to point out two things. First, the Daily Whopper
series will resume without fanfare. Second, have confidence
in the strength of America as a nation. It's been through
the Alien and Sedition Acts, it's survived the Civil War,
and every time there has been a lurch towards tyranny, some
instinct has always pulled the United States back. Sometimes
it's taken a while to happen, but it always did, in the end.
America is a strong nation; Bush is not so great a man that
even he can do irreversible damage.
It's just gonna hurt.
Editions of The War Watch